The extreme temperatures, which yesterday reached nearly 40ºC, low humidity, plus the arrival of a scorching wind from the west have resulted in 90 percent of Catalunya being classified at extreme risk of fire (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Josep Ramon Mora, Director General de Protecció Civil de la Generalitat warned yesterday that "we are in the worst days of the year so far." Eight fires were reported to have started almost simultaneously but only one of them remained ablaze last night in the town of Rocafort de Queralt. Temperatures yesterday were high but not as high as those recorded during the 2003 heatwave: the Raval area of Barcelona hit 37.8ºC, Girona 39.3ºC and La Bisbal d'Empordà saw thermometers reach 40.1ºC. The Generalitat advised keeping activities in forest areas to a minimum, especially around the hottest hours of the day. Mora was quoted as saying that temperatures will drop today but it is imperative to remain vigilant. Experts are predicting temperatures to rise again on Monday.
A total of 31 establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and remain open until 3am are to be shut down by the authorities (article in Castilian, El Pais) The bodegas and colmados, some of which have been staying open until 7am, are to be closed in an attempt to address problems of noise and street disturbances and to reduce the number of complaints filed by residents in the area. The move follows a police report that analysed the complaints as well as police interventions, which recognised that most of the disturbances could possibly be avoided if these places weren't open all night. Fifteen premises in the Raval, 12 in the Gothic quarter and Barceloneta, and two in Santa Caterina will be forced to close.
The Catalan synchronised swimmer Gemma Mengual yesterday won another silver medal for the Spanish team at the World Swimming championships in Rome, missing out on gold to the Russian Natalia Ishchenko (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). Mengual's win brought the total of medals won by the Spanish team at the championships to five, four silver and one gold. The swimmer achieved the win by performing to the track 'Yesterday' by The Beatles and obtained a score of 98.833. Gold-medal winner Natalie Ishchenko achieved the same points but gained first place on the rostrum on technical merit. "I am a little disappointed because it was my chance and it was clear that this time I could win," said Mengual.
Also in the news: The price of flat rentals in Barcelona have fallen by 20 percent (El Pais) Actress Montserrat Carulla and her daughter Vicky Peña are to be the main draws of the Mercé festival. (El Periodico) Three more fire fighters are injured fighting a fire in Gava (El Pais)